BEND, OR -- The Bend City Council plans to meet with other stakeholders in the coming weeks to discuss a transportation package that could include a local gas tax. Councilors must decide by early August whether to put the issue on the November ballot.
Bend 2030 recommends building a more comprehensive transportation package with public support before moving forward. But, Bend resident Bob Brell says the time to move forward is now "I don't see this as a political issue, I'm baffled. If we want tourists to come into this community and get bounced around, they're going to think twice before coming back. And, tourists are what are funding our businesses."
Brell tells KBND, "I'm a proponent of moving forward and moving forward aggressively. I've recommended to the council in writing that we go with a 10 cent a gallon fuel charge. The financial impact is absolutely minimal on an individual and our businesses who are benefiting from good roads in our community."
The Council is considering a five cents per gallon gas tax to help fund $80 million in deferred street maintenance. Groups like the Deschutes Republicans have already come out against the idea, saying additional funds could be found through cost savings and increased revenue.